New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed four education-related bills into law during a ceremony Tuesday attended by, among others, Randi Weingarten, a national teachers union president.
The most high-profile bill the governor signed substantially raises the minimum pay for novice, experienced and master teachers. She also signed bills expanding teacher residency programs, allowing retirees to return to classrooms, and adding $100 million to the state teacher pension fund over the next three years.
Later in the day, away from cameras and without the presence of Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, Lujan Grisham also signed House Bill 43, which makes it easier for charter schools to obtain financing for facilities.
It’s notable that Lujan Grisham decided not to sign the charter school facilities bill at a public event. It garnered bipartisan support and passed unanimously in both the State House of Representatives and State Senate.
Also, recent polling commissioned by Public Charter Schools of New Mexico shows widespread, bipartisan support for charters among New Mexicans. The poll shows that of those surveyed, 75% support opening more charter public schools, including 76% of Democrats, 78% of Republicans, and 76% of others.
Parents as voters are highly supportive of more charter schools, with 87% of parents with school aged children in support. Hispanic voters are highly supportive of charters, with 80% wanting to open more.
Photo courtesy of governor’s Twitter feed